The Strange Origins and Fateful Evolution of CPR

The Strange Origins and Fateful Evolution of CPR on

From seemingly hopeless to everyday miracles

According to the Journal of Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin, in 1767, the Society for Recovery of Drowned Persons (SRDP) listed “‘stimulating’ the victim by such means as rectal and oral fumigation with tobacco smoke” as a method of resuscitation. While some of their methods may have seemed comically off base, variations of four out of seven of their procedures are still in use today.

It took centuries for humans to fully develop Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), but it only took decades for modern CPR to go from a novel, medically-accepted technique in the mid-20th century to an everyday lifesaver.

Rediscovering a miracle

On December 3rd, 1732, deep inside the suffocating confines of a Scottish coal mine, James Blair took what would have been his last breath. His comrades lugged the coal-pit miner’s lifeless body up 34 fathoms of mining tunnels, where William Tossach, a local surgeon, took command of the scene. After confirming the absence of a pulse, in a move that certainly must have startled onlookers, Tossach employed an ancient but little-known technique. The surgeon leaned down, propped Blair’s mouth open, pressed his lips tightly over the victim’s, and exhaled.

Air wisped out of Blair’s nostrils – not the results Tossach expected. He then pinched Blair’s nose shut, drew in a deep breath and blew again. The miner’s chest inflated and immediately produced “six or seven very quick beats of the heart.” Blair went on to achieve a full recovery, and news of this re-discovered resuscitation technique spread across Europe.

By 1740, the Paris Academy of Sciences had officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as a method of saving drowning victims. In 1771, the Society of Recovery of Drowned Persons credited their techniques, which included respirations into the mouth, as having saved 150 people over the span of four years. Considered in terms of 1767 communications, that number is a little more impressive than it might sound.

Massaging the heart

Jump forward to 1903. Dr. George Crile, who’d been experimenting with chest compressions to resuscitate dogs, successfully revived a human using the same technique. However, like many of humanity’s breakthroughs, this discovery bloomed in multiple cultures; jujitsu and judo books as far back as the 17th century described similar methods of external cardiac massage. It seemed, one way or another, CPR was destined to make its way into human knowledge.

In 1922, Dr. Claude Beck witnessed a startling surgical incident during his internship. The operation took a dramatic turn when the anesthetist declared that the patient’s heart had stopped beating. An astounded Beck reported that the resident surgeon’s response was to take off his gloves, pick up the phone, and call in the fire department to revive (unsuccessfully) the patient!

This experience had a profound effect on the young doctor. Twenty-five years later, in 1947, a 14-year old boy became the first human to be successfully revived using electrical engineer William Kouwenhoven’s external defibrillator. The boy’s life-saving doctor was none other than Dr. Claude Beck, who had spent the years since his residency becoming a pioneer in heart surgery, CPR, and using electrical shock to restart the heart.

A lifesaving merger

On September 16, 1960, the American Heart Association officially announced its promotion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation as the combination of two techniques – external heart massage and mouth to mouth – that “cannot be considered any longer as separate units.” In the decades that followed, CPR became a household name thanks to promotional films and global training programs.

By 1981, the first program to train 911 operators on how to give CPR instructions over the phone was implemented, a standard that’s now universal in the United States. Three years later, EMTs and firefighters began using automated external defibrillators, a user-friendly device requiring less training than previous versions of the machine.

Constantly evolving

Like all good science, CPR exists in a dynamic state, adjusting to new findings in an effort to generate a more efficient and effective technique. In 2005, the American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR & ECC revised the compression to ventilation ratio. In the years that followed, the AHA emphasis has shifted even more toward chest compressions, after studies revealed the efficacy of constant compressions without rescue breathing.

Today, people from all walks of life enroll in CPR and AED training programs, and the adoption of AEDs is growing. More and more industries are requiring certification as a safety standard, and training techniques have made learning how to save lives accessible to a wide range of students.

One Beat CPR is proud to continue this tradition by contributing to lifesaving education. We provide CPR and AED training for students as diverse as corporate employees, families, and dedicated medical professionals. For more information about classes or the latest CPR techniques, contact us today.

What it Takes to be an AHA-Authorized Training Facility

What it Takes to be an AHA-Authorized Training Facility on

The American Heart Association’s training facility criteria

Even if you’re just casually interested in learning CPR or how to use an AED, you want to make sure you’re taught properly. And if you’re a professional in need of training, an American Heart Association authorized training facility may be a necessity. But what does that approval really mean?

The fact of the matter is the AHA authorization is far more than just a rubber stamp. This high standard is about being dedicated stewards of CPR and AED training – making sure the procedures are taught correctly, and that the training is always up to date.

Getting AHA authorized

Here’s what it means when a training facility has the American Heart Association’s approval:

  • The facility has already conducted AHA classes in each practice for which they’re seeking authorization as a training facility
  • They possess a minimum of $1 million in general liability insurance
  • The organization has presented a clear business plan displaying their market analysis and goals to the AHA
  • They’re registered as a business in their home state
  • The training center coordinator has attended a detailed AHA orientation
  • When available, AHA eCards will be issued as verification of completion of their courses
  • They have the support of a hospital corporate officer, and a letter indicating that support
  • They continue to be in good standing with the AHA

Types of AHA courses

The American Heart Association promotes a wide variety of classes for both medical and non-medical professionals, as well as anyone who just wants to learn how to save lives:

Basic Life Support (BLS): This genre of courses is targeted toward medical professionals, and therefore covers a broader range of patient applications.

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS): Another one targeting medical professionals – ACLS teaches healthcare providers how to read electrocardiograms, manage a person’s airway, apply an IV, and about emergency pharmacology.

Pediatrics: In these courses, students learn a systematic approach to assessing pediatric patients, the PALS treatment algorithms, and effective resuscitation techniques for children.

Courses for lay rescuers: This category of classes is aimed at those with little or no medical training who either need certification for their job, or simply want to know how to save lives. It includes CPR, AED, and First Aid training.

Courses for the general community: Similar to the above genre, these include family courses, classes for schools, and different techniques such as the “hands only” approach to CPR.

Courses for AHA instructors: This is where the teachers for all of the courses above learn how to teach them. AHA instructors are required to continue their training to stay current on all techniques.

Find the right training

One Beat CPR’s AHA-authorized training offers a wide range of life saving courses, covering all of the American Heart Association’s major genres. To have one of our experts help find the right class for you, contact us today!

The 5 Essential Elements of CPR Training

The 5 Essential Elements of CPR Training on

Choosing quality instruction that’s best for you

Research from around the world is clear when it comes to the importance of CPR and Automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The more people who learn these life-saving skills, the greater the chance that someone suffering a cardiac event will receive timely intervention and survive.

The question becomes, then, what constitutes a quality class? There are plenty of options available, but only a few have the curriculum and the authorization to get the best results.

1. What certification do you need?

The place to begin is to understand which sort of certification you require. Some CPR courses are designed specifically for healthcare professionals who are required to be certified and to renew that certification on a regular basis. These classes tend to be more intensive.

There are other courses, however, that are geared to other professions in which certification is required, such as a teacher or daycare worker, family members who are caring for someone with a heart issue, and ordinary people who just want to be prepared in case of an emergency.

In addition, some courses are specific to providing CPR for adults, children, or infants.

2. Which organization certifies the coursework?

The two leading organizations that authorize CPR classes and coursework are the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross (ARC). If you’re seeking a class as a result of employment, be sure to know which certification your employer requires.

While both organizations offer similar programs, the AHA tends to include more physiology and pharmacology information. The advanced courses for medical professionals are also more in-depth in order to combat the loss of skills that can occur over time.

ARC, on the other hand, provides community specific programs in addition to CPR instruction.

3. Beware of unknown programs

It’s always a smart idea for the buyer to beware, and that maxim holds true for CPR and AED training. There are plenty of companies that promise certification, but as stated above – all certifications are not created equal. When it comes to learning how to save a life, it may not be wise to chance it with lesser known and qualified courses.

4. Internet or classroom?

Some providers provide instruction via e-courses. While this is convenient, there should also be a hands-on component. In fact, many courses will require classroom time so participants can work with other students, perfect skills with hands-on instruction, and demonstrate mastery of skills to a qualified instructor.

5. To AED or not to AED

Automated external defibrillators (AED) are most often found in schools, gyms, and sports fields around the country, though their adoption is spreading. Many businesses are also investing in the technology.

As a result, many classes combine CPR instruction with AED instruction – and for good reason. An AED is an essential component in saving a person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart stops suddenly and unexpectedly. The electrodes on the machine determine the victim’s heart rhythm, and then provide prompts to deliver shocks that can reset it. The quick use of an AED saves lives, as every minute after the onset of an SCA results in a 10 percent lower chance of survival.

Although AEDs come with step-by-step instructions and can be used by untrained individuals, the height of a critical emergency is not the ideal time to start reading.

One Beat CPR is one beat away

One Beat CPR is an American Heart Association-authorized CPR provider. We offer a wide array of classes for healthcare professionals, students, and anyone with little or no medical training who wants to be prepared. In addition, we also provide recertification programs, as well as instruction in first aid, blood borne pathogens, advanced cardiac life support, and more.

For more information on One Beat CPR or to register for an American Heart Association-authorized CPR class, contact us toll free at 855.663.2328 or complete our convenient online form.

Risk Management and the Rewards of Corporate CPR and AED Training

Risk Management and the Rewards of Corporate CPR and AED Training on

10,000 workplace cardiac arrests occur in the US each year

According to a new survey conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA), most U.S. workers are woefully unprepared to handle cardiac emergencies at work. The vast majority of American employees don’t yet have access to comprehensive CPR training, and 50% of those surveyed “could not locate not an automated external defibrillator (AED) at work.” These troubling statistics mean that many people, especially those who have a preexisting cardiac issue, are being put at undue medical risk.

Training can do more than potentially help your employees save lives; it can also boost company morale and make everyone feel safer at work. Classes are a group activity that fosters teamwork and camaraderie. In addition, mandating training could limit legal liability and protect your company’s bottom line, as the death of an employee or a visitor due to a lack of intervention could spur a lawsuit.

Corporate risk managers are just starting to embrace the benefits of CPR and AED training

Corporate CPR and AED training is an essential step in mitigating legal risk. Many customer-facing businesses, especially ones in the hospitality industry (such as hotels, country clubs, and restaurants) worry about personal injury lawsuits, and a prepared staff addresses one risk factor.

Despite this value, the industry has been slow to catch on to the benefits of CPR and other emergency medical training. According to the American Heart Association, 66% of hospitality workers could not even locate an AED in their workplace. In addition to clear risk-management benefits, corporate CPR and AED training may also be able to help companies save on their insurance policies – especially if a firm has a specific liability policy in addition to a general business insurance policy.

Despite a lack of widespread training, employee interest remains high

The American Heart Association reports that employee interest in learning CPR and other lifesaving medical skills is encouragingly enthusiastic. The AHA survey also found that “more than 90% of employees would take First Aid and CPR+AED training if employers offered it, and most (70%) believe training would make them feel better prepared for emergencies.”

While interest in learning the skills seems to be on the rise, the AHA states that most organizations only implement a CPR training program after a medical tragedy has occurred. But there’s no reason to wait for something terrible to happen before taking action. Being proactive boosts morale and could save your organization money – while saving a life.

To learn more about the wide array of benefits of corporate CPR and AED training, contact One Beat CPR today for a free consultation.